LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A week from now, many students will be home from their first day of school.
But while 95% of students in the Clark County School District (CCSD) decided to head back to class, some were withdrawn completely. Those families filed a notice of intent to homeschool instead.
One mom told 8 News Now it was necessary to make sure her daughters were getting the education they needed.
“It was really scary at first,” shared Sarah McDuffie. “Just the decision is a huge decision.”
She’ll be homeschooling her two 8-year-olds.
“They kind of got behind last year, and you know, it’s hard to teach in a crisis,” McDuffie said.
She also worries mandated masks will create a difficult learning environment.
“Between all of the different things and just being behind, we really need to buckle down and get the fundamentals of school put into place,” stressed the mother. “Because they’re going into third grade, but your reading, your writing, all these things, those are the fundamentals of school, and they really lost a lot of that.”
CCSD says 126 notice of intent to homeschool forms have been submitted for the upcoming year, compared to nearly 7,000 last year. Over the past five years, the following number of these forms have been submitted, per the district:
- 2020-21: 6,650
- 2019-20: 2,244
- 2018-19: 2,165
- 2017-18: 1,866
- 2016-17: 1,570
“I’ve heard tons of stories from parents who just tried it out for one year, and now, they’re like, ‘This was a great success. We’ll just keep going with it,'” Chelsea Graves, who coordinated a homeschooling pod, told us.
She is considering doing it again this year.
“I feel like I was able to target where they were,” Graves explained. “And I was able to teach them way more effectively than I had ever been able to teach in a classroom of 30 kids.”
She says many curriculums are easy to understand and can be tailored to a child’s needs.
“I think the benefit of being a parent is you know better than anyone how your kid is going to learn,” said Graves.
McDuffie is now connecting with other homeschool families to share curriculum ideas and coordinate ways to socialize.
“Now, I’m excited, whereas before, I was scared and anticipating all the work I would have to do,” she shared, “and I just feel really supported, and I’m excited and glad I have the ability to do that with my kids.”
CCSD requires parents to file a notice of intent and educational plan before homeschooling their child. Homeschooled students can participate in activities, sports and up to three classes at a school if there is space and they meet certain requirements.
If you are considering the homeschool option for your child(ren), click here for some of CCSD’s best resources.